Fauci: Coronavirus task force activity 'intense' despite decreased visibility

Fauci: Coronavirus task force activity 'intense' despite decreased visibility
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Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCDC to issue more guidance on school openings amid Trump criticism The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases The Hill's 12:30 Report- Presented by Facebook - Trump threatens schools' funding over reopening MORE, the government's top infectious diseases expert, said Friday that the White House coronavirus task force is still doing "substantial" work despite holding fewer meetings and making scarce public appearances.

"I think that what you’re seeing out there publicly doesn’t really reflect what’s going on," Fauci told CNBC, noting there was a task force meeting earlier in the week and another one scheduled for Friday afternoon.

"Just because you don't see the public press conferences does not mean that there’s [not] a lot of activity going on and a lot of attention paid to what we do," he added. "But I could understand how you might come to that conclusion. But I think there really is a disconnect.

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"The seriousness with which the task force takes and the effort that we put into this is really substantial, even though numerically the number of meetings might be less, the activity is still really quite intense," he said.

Fauci's comments come as the White House has publicly signaled it is ready to move on from the health crisis associated with the coronavirus pandemic, even as thousands of new cases are reported in the U.S. each day.

Fauci said in an interview published Monday that his meetings with President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE have "decreased dramatically" in recent weeks. The White House's designated testing czar, Brett Giroir, likewise said Monday he is set to return to his regular duties this month.

While Fauci has continued to make regular media appearances, the coronavirus task force has not held a press briefing since late April.

Officials familiar with the matter say the task force is not as active as it was in March and April when cases and deaths were surging in the U.S. Instead, the group's focus has shifted to developing vaccines and therapeutics, while Trump leads the charge to revive the economy.

There are more than 1.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data, and more than 108,000 people in the country have died from the virus.